Wanted: Robot life coach (no, really)

The unique job is a hint of what's to come as robots increasingly join us in the human world
Written by Greg Nichols, Contributing Writer

You will need to be firm but fair with the robots, and support and nurture them ...

It's not your typical help wanted ad, but it's a real one, and you can apply for the position of Robot Life Coach right now.

The job is with Anki, a London-based consumer robotics company that makes a cute little bulldozer robot assistant. Applicants must have "an affinity for robots" and love playing with robots "to discover what they're capable of."

Sounds like a pretty sweet gig. But be warned: The hours are brutal.

The robots are alive with personality, highly-intelligent, and aware of their surroundings through touch, sight and sound, so this role needs someone willing to commit to having a robot as part of their lives 24/7 and then assess how it reacts in a range of home-based scenarios.

Aside from the publicity angle (it obviously worked on me) Anki is smart to bring on human testers distinct from its technical QA team. Real world applicability is where most of the current crop of home robots miss the mark.

As I've argued, too many of the robot assistants available right now are essentially Amazon Echoes with wheels. My Echo is just fine as a stationary device, thank you very much.

That's not to say robots won't have a role in the mundane and interstitial moments of the day-to-day, though, and that's where real-world testers come into play.

These robots are more than just fun sidekicks, so they'll need to be put to task on improving your productivity too, from making sure you're ready for any weather condition to helping avert overcooked meals.

Applications close September 7. If you're in the UK and want to be a put a robot through it's paces, drop Anki a line. Be sure to explain why you'd be tough but fair with their little tractor bot.

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